The Buffalo Bills are on my list of all-time favorite singers (list forthcoming). They are featured in one of the best musicals of all time - The Music Man - where their work-a-day characters spontaneously discover their inherent ability to sing in perfect 4-part harmony. They break into a song called "Sincere" written by the musical's songwriter, Meredith Wilson, who also brought us the timeless classic "Till There Was You", which was covered by The Beatles a few years later.
Long before autotuning, multitracking, and any of the things that we contemporary digital audio engineers take for granted, their balance, tone, rubato, pitch, dynamics, emotional conveyance - pretty much everything that could describe a group vocal performance - is Spot. On. Perfect. At moments, it's like one man with four voices. Amazing. The video below, containing a recording of "As Time Goes By" (Herman Hupfeld, 1931), also presents an absolutely ingenious vocal arrangement creating a lush and colorful harmonic progression.
I'll be speaking more, much more, on harmony in future blogs. Harmony, particularly vocal harmony of the kind exhibited by The Buffalo Bills, is the absolute divine embodiment of humanity in its most virtuous state. It is both deeply subtle and immediately evident as the ultimate expression of universal love.
The world will always welcome lovers...as time goes by.